Have you guys ever packed smoothies in your kids’ lunches? I’m so intrigued by this idea – it seems like SUCH a good way to get some much needed veggies into my kiddos’ lunches and I know they’d see it as an extra special treat.
But I wonder about the mess factor – is this really do-able?!
Our food contributor, Natalie, assures me that it is and she’s here today sharing everything we need to know, along with her favorite tools and recipes.
Frozen smoothies are lunch box staples at my house. They are simple to make and easy grab out of the freezer in a pinch.
Why pack homemade smoothies?
- Easy way to sneak extra nutrients into your kids’ lunches (especially if you have picky eaters)
- Cheaper than buying single-serve pouches or yogurt tubes
- You can make a week’s worth of smoothies ahead of time (or more!)
- Customizable for school regulations and kids with food allergies
- They save space by doubling as an ice pack
Smoothie Packing Process
- Prep your containers. If you’re making lunch box smoothies regularly, you’ll want to make sure you’ve cleaned and gathered up all your containers before you make your smoothie so you can fill them up without your smoothie melting.
- Make your smoothie. Make one up on the fly or use one of the recipes we’ve shared below. You can also just fill up a container or two as you go using smoothie leftovers.
- Fill your containers. Leave a little space at the top for the smoothie to expand while freezing.
- Freeze. Overnight is best, but if you have small containers, the smoothies should be frozen within a few hours.
- Pull out and pack. Make sure to include a straw or spoon if necessary.
- Retrieve and clean containers. Get those containers back from the lunch box and clean as soon as possible.
- Cups with caps. I like to use glass mason jars with plastic caps (4 or 8oz), but if you can’t send glass to school (or don’t want them to come home broken), Ball also has great plastic freezer cups. If you want smaller containers for little ones, try baby food freezer containers.
- Smoothie tubes. We love these for turning our smoothies into mess-free push pops.
- Straws. Plastic smoothie straws are easy to find in stores, but if you’re looking for a reusable option, you can find stainless ones, too. You could also throw in a spoon straw just for fun!
- Spoons. I like this spoon/fork combo for kid lunches.
- Napkins. Cloth napkins are great for cleaning up spills or wrapping up sticky containers and utensils.
There are thousands of smoothie recipes out there, but here are some favorite links to get you started.
- Colorful Smoothies and Juices to Kick the Winter Blues
- 4 Healthy Smoothie Recipes for Moms and Kids
- How to Make a Perfect Smoothie
- Brain Boosting Smoothies for Kids
- 12 Easy Smoothies for Kids
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